They made it!
A more detailed update will follow in due course, along with a full route description write up. For now, we'll leave you with a few photos from a very relieved Cape Wrath Trail Team...
Day 6 - Brotherhood
Safety has to be the priority and with non-stop torrential rain there have been a couple (most likely more than two but that's all Martyn would share) of life threatening moments when they had to wade through a torrent of water above knee height and then ascend a 150ft cliff to escape another torrent of water. To say the weather has not been on their side, is an under-statement and for the first five days the team had no opportunity to get dry or warm. Let's not forget Martyn is a Stage 4 cancer patient with no stomach, who seven months ago had to learn to walk again after three weeks in ICU with pneumonia and chest sepsis.
Here's an update from the man himself, Martyn.
"Yesterday we took a detour and courtesy of corporate sponsor Kutana took a transfer to Kinlochewe. Thank you Rob Simcock. It was a difficult decision to break our route and I stared up remorsefully at the Forcan Ridge as we sped through Kintail, the five sisters as ever towering majestically above is. The weather was poor, our safety assured. The right decision.
As a team we were spent, every sinew and muscle aching, so the repositioning rest day giving us what we needed. It was also fabulous to be entertained by Andy Jackson last night who fed us the finest of local products and provided us with home from home hospitality and cuddles with his adorable pooch Molly. Thank you to Kinlochewe hotel for the room in the bunkhouse and the service station station for out breakfast this morning and Andy for a great night.
Today we’re back on the trail. My shoulders still ache me from rucksack straps, my legs stiff and sore but we must press on. Northwards. To the Cape. We started out as friends and will finish this as brothers.
Please remember we are walking the Cape Wrath Trail to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support: www.justgiving.co.uk/capewrathtrail2019"
Safe, upbeat and shepherds pie
Last night, Hazel (Martyn's wife) was lucky enough to finally get a brief chat with Martyn.
"To be honest I wasn’t expecting him to sound as upbeat as he was considering the absolute horrific conditions the team have had to experience over the last 5 days which has been a huge set back for them.
The guys are safe and well this evening, having reached a small campsite. Martyn advised me he had just had a hot shower, and the documentary crew had arranged for them to have shepherds pie and apple crumble to get them back on their feet and lift their spirits. Amazing!
Today has been difficult for them all with lots of river crossings and dangerously so due to the weather. Yesterday they were in life threatening conditions and had to get down off the mountain quickly due to gushing water making it very difficult on foot and poor visibility and Martyn really wasn’t joking when he said that.
The guys will sit down tonight and revise their plans with a few route changes, safety first!
All being well if they get where they need to be tomorrow, they will be able to do a live post as they will have signal and post some video footage.
I have shared all of your well wishes and encouragement and wanted to let you know how appreciative the guys are for all your support. People around us have been so kind and supportive in so many different ways.
Even though these fellas are tough, they should be proud of what they have achieved so far. One thing is for sure they will hang in there and never give up. Actions are much more important in order to achieve something great."
Day 5 - BBC interview from Cape Wrath
Incredibly, the BBC were able to reach Martyn on the team satellite phone this morning so for the latest from Cape Wrath here's a link to the interview Martyn's and it starts at 09:41 mins into the recording.
We knew the relentless and torrential rain had played havoc with their itinerary but to say things are tough doesn't come close to what they're up against so lets make sure we keep them in our thoughts and the sun shines!
Day 3 - The loch of hell
Day 3 is a much shorter day, and by the end of it the team will be glad of that. It’s not as easy as the map and mileage might suggest. They start along rough, stony track on the south side of Loch Hourn, the loch of hell, which goes up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down …… Quite hellish indeed if the midges are out in force (which if it’s not pouring with rain, they probably will be – today and every day). But at the end they finally return to civilisation, sort of. Kinlochhourn is one of the remotest settlements in Britain; just a couple of farms at the end of a narrow 20 mile dead end road. Earlier this year it was completely cut off for several weeks by a landslide. This is where many CWT walkers bale out, overcome by rain and midges and blisters. But they stop just for a bacon butty before heading up the slopes north of Loch Hourn for the highest climb of the route, almost to the summit of the Saddle, one of Scotland’s highest mountains. And for most of the way there’s no path to follow. Just tussocky grass and bog. And unless the weather is fine, the guys will be in the clouds as well. Getting lost here will be about as easy as sitting down in a nice comfy armchair. Having finally climbed over 2,000 sweaty feet from the sea they then descend 2,000 feet back down to the sea at Shiel Bridge where a proper campsite awaits, not forgetting the luxury of a shower! The team hope to meet friends here as well, bringing much needed supplies and some dry socks!
Day 2 - Wave goodbye to civilisation
Thanks to a day of non stop heavy rain Day One proved a tricky one with the team still walking at 8pm, in the dark across unknown terrain. Soaked wet through but still smiling they were all set for Day Two, being the day when Cape Wrath begins in earnest.Their first ascent today would take them over the Streap Pass (appropriately, streap is Gaelic for climb) at the head of Glenfinnan and then down to Glen Pean. Here they would have a brief respite as they walk on forestry tracks for a few miles before taking up the old military path that runs over the Mam na cloiche-airde, pass of the high stones. It’s a boggy walk in places and far, far from civilisation. A steep drop, on a rocky path, slippery when wet, brings them back to the sea at Sourlies (a big feature of the walk is that they are constantly going from sea shore to sea shore via high mountain passes). Sourlies is where most CWTers finish their day’s walk. But not these CWTers, they still have another day’s worth of walking to go. Hopefully the new bridge over the Carnach River will be in place as this is a very major river. They then follow the Carnach through the Rough Bounds along animal tracks and then cut up the hillside to the Mam Unndalain, a climb from sea level of over 500m, before finally catching a distant glimpse of their destination for the night, the green meadows of Barrisdale (which is, of course, back down at sea level again). It’s still many miles down a faint stalker’s path before we pitch tents for the night though. By which time they will have covered nearly 50 miles in 2 days. That’s almost a quarter of the way to Cape Wrath. Hoorah! Fingers and everything crossed for good weather!
31 August 2019 - D Day is here!
From a very wet and windy Fort William the team (Martyn, Andy and Rob) have just set off on the ferry to Camasnagaul for day one of their Cape Wrath Trail. From Camasnagaul they will walk 6.5m to Inversacddle before their first ascent of 485ft and another 5m walk to Corrlarach where they will take a break. This afternoon they will climb 1250ft and walk 10m to the Glenfinnan Visitor Centre. They will then climb 475ft and walk a further 3 miles to their overnight camp, the Corrhully bothy. The weather's against them with heavy rain forecast for most of the day but they're a team, they're fired up, they're ready and Cape Wrath really is happening!
12 August 2019
Preparations are now nearing finalisation as we publish our final walking itinerary and submit it to the local Mountain Rescue Services. Tents have been tested, tons of kit bought and logistics finalised. sponsorship money is flowing in (THANK YOU!) as the big day approaches rapidly.
15 July 2019
Fancy finding out what training is all about? Come along to North Hill Car Park in Malvern on 21 July 2019 at 09:00. We'll be tackling the entire ridge and then back. 20+ miles, 5,000' of ascent and a full weight pack. Come and walk a mile, or walk the distance with us - all welcome!
8 July 2019
More training going on all over the place, both individually and as a team. 19 miles, 17.5kg pack, 23c yesterday - exhausting and hard work but well worth it for the beautiful views.
20 June 2019
A press release from leading Midlands law firm Wright Hassall LLP
An inspirational malignant melanoma patient is gearing up to take on Britain’s toughest walking trail despite a major setback.
Martyn Wells, who was diagnosed in March 2017, has been raising funds to support the work of Macmillan nurses over the last 18 months and will push himself further than ever before by taking on the 245 mile Cape Wrath Trail in 10 days starting on August 31.
Martyn, an IT Director at Leamington law firm Wright Hassall, walked the 211 mile Severn Way trail last September, raising £46,000 in the process.
His preparations for this year’s challenge were hit hard recently when immunotherapy treatment led to him contracting double pneumonia and sepsis.After spending 15 days on a life support machine as a result, Martyn has essentially had to learn how to walk again, with the prospect of the mammoth challenge in the Scottish Highlands looming ever closer.
He has vowed not to give up and aims to raise £100,000 for Macmillan this time around.
Martyn said: “This year’s challenge is a huge step up from last year in terms of difficulty and as with last time around, I have been hit with a major setback.
“However, I don’t have the time to let this hold me back and with the tremendous support I’ve received from Wright Hassall, my colleagues, and my friends I am already back in training.
“We are heading out far from society so there is much more to focus on than just fitness.
“We have to ensure we are in contact with rescue teams and plan out how to keep in touch with civilisation, as well as focusing on diet and preparing for different weather and environmental challenges.
“I would say I feel a mixture of excitement and anticipation right now.
“The more I challenge myself, the bigger the exposure for the good work of Macmillan will be, so I have all of the motivation I need there.”
Martyn has received support during his battle from his employer Wright Hassall, who is also backing him in the form of corporate sponsorship for the Cape Wrath Trail through its charitable trust. The firm will also be hosting fundraising events in the run up to Martyn setting off on August 31 to help boost his total.Alex Robinson, partner at Wright Hassall, said: “Martyn’s dedication to tackling such a huge challenge is inspiring and we are proud to be backing his efforts through our charitable trust.
“Everyone at Wright Hassall wishes him all the best in his preparations and for the challenge itself.”
Martyn will be posting regular updates on his preparations at www.capewrathtrail2019.com
19 June 2019
We are proud to have just passed the £10,000 and are on our way towards the £100k target we've set ourselves.
15 June 2019
We have another training walk planned on 23 June 2019 - this time it's a 15-mile yomp across Fan-y-Big in the Beacons. If you're feeling fit or want to try some hillwalking with the expedition team you're free to join us. We meet up at 09:00 at Grid ref: SO 104204. If you are using Sat Nav, Nearest Postcode: LD3 7YS (Dan y Wenallt youth hostel - which is on the far side of the reservoir dam, and should be signposted).
17 May 2019
Yesterday Martyn was presented the Douglas Macmillan award for the Midlands for raising £47k for Macmillan Cancer Support on his 2018 walk Severn Way. "I am delighted to receive this award, it is so important that the donations and sponsorship of everyone involved in Severn Way 2018 has been recognised by Macmillan. It was a special event and I was proud to be involved." said Martyn on collecting his award.
16 May 2019
If you’ve not heard Martyn's story or wondered why he always uses #notjustskincancer then you can find out from the video of his presentation for Macmillan Cancer Support at the RHS Malvern Spring Show on 11 May 2019 - https://www.facebook.com/capewrathtrail2019/videos/2749882625026185/
29 April 2019
We are now reaching out to our corporate sponsors - so please visit the sponsors page to see what find folks are helping to support Cape Wrath Trail 2019.
The expedition team are also hard at work. We're all upgrading our outdoor gear for the event and getting into to some serious training over the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains.
21 February 2019: Macmillan Press Release
Stage 4 cancer patient set to take on Britain’s hardest walk
A cancer patient from Worcestershire is set to walk over 245 miles to raise £100,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The Cape Wrath Trail, which involves climbing over the hardest mountain ranges in Scotland, is known as Britain’s toughest walk. Martyn Wells, who has stage 4 melanoma, plans to complete the trek from Fort William to Cape Wrath in just 10 days. No one has ever completed the walk in such a short space of time before. If the walk wasn’t challenging enough, the father-of-two intends to be completely self reliant for much of the journey, which includes camping in the Scottish wilderness.
Martyn, 50, is no stranger to challenging himself to raise money for Macmillan. Last year, Martyn raised an incredible £46,000 by completing the Severn Way, an epic 211 miles following the River Severn from its source in Plynlimon in Powys to Bristol.
Inspired by Martyn’s pure grit and willpower, the team of friends and sponsors who took part in Severn Way 2018 will join Martyn again for this year’s challenge.
When asked why he was taking on another challenge event, Martyn said, ‘I was overwhelmed by the support I received last year walking the Severn Way and we achieved a phenomenal final fundraising total. The Severn Way left me with itchy feet and so this year I’m honoured to be joined by a great expedition team as we battle to take on an extraordinary challenge.’
Sarah Diston, Regional Fundraising Manager for Worcestershire, said, ‘Martyn left us all completely speechless after finishing Severn Way 2018 and raising such an incredible amount of money for Macmillan. To hear he is going to be taking on an even bigger challenge this year is astounding. His ceaseless determination and dedication to ensuring other people living with cancer get the same care and support that he has received from Macmillan from the moment he was diagnosed is truly inspiring.’ To find out more about Martyn’s challenge, please visit .
To find out how you can get involved in fundraising for Macmillan, please contact Sarah Diston 07791 369 364 or email@example.com.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact:
Sophie Beresford, Regional Communications Officer 07734 384463
About Macmillan Cancer Support
Being told ‘you have cancer’ can affect so much more than your health – it can affect your family, your job, even your ability to pay the bills.
But life with cancer is still life. We get that. And, after over 100 years of helping so many people, we get what’s most important: that we treat everyone as a person, not just a patient.With your help we can do more for people living with cancer, giving each person the support they need to look after all that matters and take care of their health, protect personal relationships and deal with work and money worries.
We want to help everyone with cancer find their best way through, from the moment of diagnosis, so they’re able to live life as fully as they can. You can be someone who makes that happen. To give, fundraise or volunteer call 0300 1000 200 or visit macmillan.org.uk
5 January 2019
Welcome to the Cape Wrath Trail 2019 website. We'll be publishing regular news and features here to cover all the crazy things the expedition team will get up preparing for the adventure in September.